In reply to G8ADD:
The only issue I can see with a "Low power / portable channel is that most chasers would not be low power or portable, although if the NOV required a lower power on one of the channels that might be feasible.
As for the lower activity this year, it really is down the the solar cycle. Whilst 5MHz was in its element at solar minimum, quite often being the highest band available for NVIS, since solar activity has increased so has the daytime critical frequency. This has meant that 7MHz has become much more reliable for NVIS with even 10MHz & 14MHz enjoying the odd NVIS opening.
As has been mentioned 40m does get very crowded, but it is as Jack says open to all amateurs, rather than those in countries with a 5MHz allocation & the relevant permit / NOV. On my rare activations I always try to use other bands as well as 5MHz purely to give other chasers without 5MHz access a chance of chasing the summit.
I am quite relieved that the consultation process produced such a good result. Although still not a continuous chunk of spectrum, the additional bandwidth on certain channels, as well as the much more sensible antenna height & power restrictions are IMO a good result.
I may well have to modify my monitoring of the new channels if people begin to call elsewhere than FE, but that shouldn’t be too difficult
Hopefully, the revised access conditions will be published before the New Year, so we can begin using the additional channels straight away. This would have to be before Christmas as the RSGB close over the festive period & I am sure Ofcom will do as well.
I have already printed off a revised channel sheet to take on activations with me, & will now re-program the memories in my radios.
For me 5MHz is a superb band, sitting as it does in a sweet spot in the spectrum, & IMO is worth the attaining the Full licence for on it’s own.
Good news for Christmas in any case. Now I wonder what the process will be for 472-479KHz? Will we still need to submit detailed plans of property boundaries etc I wonder?
To Andy MM0FMF:
I was monitoring 5MHz when you were on GM/SS-084 & did hear some QRS CW on FE before that station realized that FE was in use for SSB. From memory I think I next heard you on FL but if it was you, you had QSY’d to 40m before I could call you. 5MHz is still a good place to start on Phone, although 7032 is probably better for those using CW